Password habits die hard: Major password mistakes compiled

In honour of World Password Day, NordPass remind internet users of the most common mistake they make when creating their passwords.

NordPass compiled key insights from every password-related study it ran the past few years, presenting a general overview of password habits worldwide. Both individuals and businesses are within  the scope of these research initiatives.

General internet users

Every year, NordPass delivers its annual study revealing the 200 most common passwords globally and in different countries. In the 2022 edition, independent researchers analysed 30 countries worldwide and dug deeper into how pop culture influences our password habits. Here is the full report.

  • The creative “password” is now the world’s most common password, pushing the annual winner “123456” to second place.
  • Culture, lifestyle trends, and recent events have a huge effect on people’s password choices. For example, team names (i.e., Red Star Belgrade, Detroit Red Wings) or their variations make extremely popular passwords.
  • Internet users are found guilty again of using the simplest combinations of numbers and letters to secure their accounts — “qwerty,” “1q2w3e,” “abc123,” and similar passwords top the list.
  • People extensively use names, curse words, and words of affection to secure their accounts.

The world’s wealthiest companies 

This year, NordPass, in partnership with independent cybersecurity researchers, also looked into the passwords that the world's richest companies’ (by market capitalization) employees operating in 20 different industries use to secure corporate accounts. Here is the full report.

  • The largest companies’ employees were found guilty of using terrible passwords. As many as 32% of wealthiest businesses’ passwords reference the company, for instance, the company name, part of it, the email domain, or the company’s product.
  • All of the 20 analyzed industries had both “password” and “12345” among the top 7 most commonly used passwords.
  • Dictionary words or their variations are often used as passwords among largest companies’ employees. For instance, the password “dummies” ranks 6th among consumer goods sector employees, “sexy4sho” 16th among real estate employees, and “snowman” 11th in the energy field. 

A few years back, NordPass also revealed passwords trending within the Fortune 500 companies in the US. 

High-level business executives 

NordPass has also published  research revealing the password habits of managerial-level executives. Researchers examined different executives roles — CEOs, C-level executives, management, and business owners. Here is the full report.

  • Among different roles of business executives examined is a visible trend to use easily hackable passwords that mainly include sequential combinations of numbers or letters. These include but are not limited to “1q2w3e,” “12345,” “11111,” and “qwerty.” The winner in all categories remains “123456,” with the password “password” coming in second.
  • The top executives also extensively use names of people (i.e., Tiffany, Charlie, Michael, Jordan) and mythical creatures or animals (i.e., dragon, monkey) in their passwords.